How to wash chicken in the kitchen more safely, according to physics

Health experts recommend against washing chicken before cooking it because that can spread harmful bacteria. But if you’re among the nearly 70 percent of people who do, according to a survey of U.S. grocery shoppers, there are ways to make it minyak sereh wangi.

Instead of admonishing people not to wash chicken, says mathematician Scott McCalla of Montana State University in Bozeman, the goal of a study published in the March Physics of Fluids was to “recommend how to do it safely, or more carefully.”

The researchers placed raw chicken under running faucets and monitored the spray of water and bacteria to nearby surfaces. The outcomes changed dramatically depending on a few factors.

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The height of the faucet above the chicken had the largest effect. If the water fell 40 centimeters (about 16 inches) before hitting a chicken breast or thigh, the germs traveled farther than for faucets just 15 centimeters (about 6 inches) above the chicken.

In tests involving the higher faucets, droplets of water splashed more than 22 centimeters in the air, contaminating much of the surrounding area. For lower faucets, droplets splashed only about 5 centimeters high, and there was comparatively little sign of contamination making it to nearby surfaces.